With the return of UFC bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz months away at best and interim title-holder Renan Barao booked for a second defense of his strap, UFC President Dana White is coming to grips with reality. The outspoken executive initially took a stance by stating the company wouldn’t strip Cruz of his gold. However, with “The Dominator” recently revealing he’s at less than 50% a few months removed from a second ACL surgery, White has apparently started seeing things in a different light.
“He’s our champ, he’s our guy, and he needs time. But we’re getting to the point now where we really need to make a decision,” admitted White in an interview with MMAJunkie.
White wouldn’t go so far as to say the UFC was planning to remove the “interim” label from Barao’s belt, but he also didn’t throw the notion out either.
“This is stuff that needs to be talked about with (Cruz), and even if I had a decision about him, I wouldn’t say it here. He deserves the respect to come out to Vegas and sit down and talk about it,” White explained.
The 19-1 Cruz hasn’t fought since October 2011 when he beat Demetrious Johnson, suffering a number of serious injuries since then in addition to sitting out for a chunk of time as a coach on TUF 15. He is currently being kept busy by doing UFC commentary for Fuel TV.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC